Osaka is globally and locally considered the kitchen of Japan, so what better way to explore this incredibly fascinating city, with its numerous alleyways of izakayas and streets lined with food stalls, than to hop on a food tour?
Of course, there is a fantastic degree of flexibility involved when creating your own exploring itinerary. However, the excitement of being taken someplace off the beaten path, with a chance to rub shoulders with locals, while being guided by a knowledgeable and engaging local is just too great of a deal to pass on – and we highly, highly recommend this option.
Below we’ve curated a fantastic list of the top 9 best food tours in Osaka for you to discover.
1. Osaka Food Tour (10 Delicious Dishes, 5 Hidden Eateries)
Keen to discover the food scene of Osaka like a true local? This all-encompassing Osaka food tour will take you to deep corners of this dense city and have you learning about the eateries that only true locals will know about and frequent.
The tiny bars and small few-seated restaurants can be quite intimidating for some to enter, especially if you feel like your language skills are limited. However, on this tour, your friendly guide, who is a well-known local, will introduce you to some hidden gems that will welcome people from all walks of life.
This entire food tour will have you stopping at five different places to sample 10 different Osaka traditional dishes. You’ll also be guided on which drinks to pair with your food, from alcoholic beverages such as chuhai and plum wine to Japanese soda.
- Visit 5 restaurants to sample 10 different dishes at hidden and authentic Osaka eateries
- Visit pockets of Osaka that are normally frequented only by locals
- Learn about the history of Osaka’s food and culture
2. Engaging, Immersive Osaka Foodhood Tour (15 Foods, 3 Drinks)
If you consider yourself a massive foodie, this immersive Osaka Foodhood tour is a fantastic option for you!
Dotonbori and Shinsekai receive an enormous amount of love from tourists, and rightfully so. They’re both super engaging, exciting, and fun-filled areas that are as fascinating as they are memorable.
However, many areas in and around Osaka offer just as much character and adventure and are often without crowds.
Tenma and Kyobashi are two such areas, and this food tour gives them the amount of attention that they deserve. Deep in the Osaka suburbs, these two neighborhoods are brimming with overwhelmingly fascinating food culture and nightlife.
Tenma is home to a huge shotengai, whereas Kyobashi is a watering hole that’s a diamond in the rough – often overlooked and not nearly as crowded as other food streets.
In this food hall tour, you’ll be discovering Osaka by night, skipping your way through tiny standing bars and traditional Japanese restaurants. By the end of the tour, you’ll be full of the likes of sashimi, kushikatsu, seasonal grilled vegetables, and much more.
- 3-hour food tour of underrated foodie neighborhoods in Osaka
- Experience a full dinner as well as 3 additional drinks!
- Learn about the history and culture of Osaka
3. Deep Backstreet Osaka Tour
Fancy witnessing the nittier, gritter side of Osaka? This backstreet tour of Osaka will introduce you to Kevin, a knowledgeable Japanese-Australian who won’t hesitate to tell you more about the unfiltered side of Japan.
You will experience some of the most authentic Japanese eateries in Osaka whilst learning about the history of the region that’s not normally portrayed in blogs. Gain insights into taboo topics and truly deep-dive below the surface level of Osaka as a region.
The eateries you will be taken to will likely not appear on any ‘lists’ online; they’re only frequented by locals and are considered ‘hidden’ – what a treat! Fill your stomach up with 8 different delicious Japanese foods, and then arrive at the final destination, which is an izakaya, for a course meal to finish off the fantastic food tour.
- Indulge in 8 different authentic Japanese dishes
- Learn about the history of the region; facts commonly unknown
- Stoll through the red light district from the Taisho era (optional)
4. The Ultimate Osaka Night Tour
Exploring Osaka by day is one thing, but exploring the neon-lit city by night is just a whole new experience.
In this ultimate Osaka night tour, you’ll get to witness this vibrant city come to life at night, dining at some of the best pubs that Osaka has to offer, and discover some hidden gems that you wouldn’t otherwise know about.
The guide is a well-versed local, knowledgeable and passionate about what the nightlife and food culture of Osaka has to offer. You’ll start the tour off at an izakaya, where you’ll get to eat an authentic Japanese pub-style dinner.
From there, you’ll be walking the streets of Namba, but not as you know it. Follow your guide through the quiet, unknown alleys of Namba, away from the crowds and noise, and into the joints of the locals.
You’ll finish off at the party center of Shinsaibashi and Amemura, but not before grabbing a selfie at Dotonburi.
- Discover a different side of Osaka – the party side
- Enjoy a full dinner at one of Osaka’s best local izakaya restaurants
- Explore the backstreets of Namba like a local
- Tour includes your first drink at every post-dinner venue!
5. Half Pint Craft Beef in Osaka
Craft beer is a long-time passion of Japanese people and this tour of the best craft beer in Umeda will expose you to a side of Japan that you probably didn’t know existed!
For craft beer enthusiasts, this is the dream tour. It will focus on specific Japanese craft beers and their respective breweries, led by a Certified Beer Server who boasts extensive knowledge of the industry.
For those who are not craft beer enthusiasts, this is still quite a fun tour to engage in. You will come across a wide range of Japanese beers and gain interesting and valuable insights into the world of Japanese craft beer. You may even discover a new favorite beer!
- You are entitled to a half-pint at each location!
- Get insight and exposure to several craft bars in downtown Osaka
- The guide is a certified beer server with extensive knowledge on craft beer
6. Osaka Night Life: Eating and Drinking
This food tour focuses on the neighborhood of Tenjinbashi, one of Osaka’s most famous food streets. If you’re a Netflix fiend, you might even recognize this street from the popular “Street Food” series!
Despite the global attention it received, Tenjinbashi is still relatively low-key, frequented by locals, and devoid of crowds.
This tour will take you deep into the crevices of Tenjinbashi, through its narrow alleys of hidden bars and restaurants, and introduce you to some of the most welcoming hosts you’ll ever come across.
Expect to experience some of Japan’s most authentic dishes, including takoyaki, Wagyu beef, sushi, and ramen!
- Experience nightlife in Osaka, led by a local
- Eat quintessential Japanese dishes at authentic Japanese restaurants
7. Osaka Kuromon Market and Kitchen Town Tour
The Kuromon Ichiba Market is Osaka’s version of the Tsukiji Markets, and, coming from the city that’s known as Japan’s kitchen, you just know that the market will be good!
Taking you through is a knowledgeable local guide who won’t hesitate to point out the best places to sample fresh seafood, sashimi, and produce. You’ll be spoilt for choice, as Kuromon Ichiba boasts a whopping 39 fishmongers, 10 grocery shops, 12 butchers, 7 candy shops, and 24 restaurants!
After you’ve had your fill, head to Sennichimae Doguyasuji, a place where you can witness the model plastic Japanese foods being made. Known as Osaka’s ‘Kitchen Town’, Sennishimae Doguyasuji is also an area you can purchase Japanese ceramics, dinnerware, knives, and the like.
Don’t forget to bring extra cash for all the souvenirs you’ll be purchasing for your home!
- Explore the Kuromon Ichiba Market like a local
- Get insights on the most high-quality seafood at the market
- Visit and learn more about Sennichimae Doguyasuji, Osaka’s ‘Kitchen Town’
- Shop for souvenirs
If you want to visit similar places in Osaka, make sure you check out our article about the best street food spots in Osaka.
8. Nostalgic Shinsekai Osaka Street Food Tour
The gorgeous neighborhood of Shinsekai is as stunning during the day as it is at night, and the best thing about this tour is that you can opt to do it during the AM or PM!
Shinsekai offers a nostalgic, vintage atmosphere to all those who visit it; references to the early 1900s and 1960s can be found along the colourful streets through its architecture, exterior and interior decor, and signage. Despite its neon-lit facade, the retro vibes truly shine through.
In this food tour, you’ll be introduced to some famous Osaka street foods, including kushikatsu (battered and fried skewers), and takoyaki (octopus balls), at restaurants that operate on a 24-hour basis.
You’ll discover some authentic hole-in-the-wall joints that would otherwise be overlooked, and learn more about the food culture of Osaka than you would if you were exploring on your own.
Shinsekai is exciting and bustling during the day, but at night, it truly comes alive with lit-up lanterns and neon signs.
- Discover 5 different food stops with authentic Japanese foods
- Immerse yourself into a retro-style neighborhood in Japan – plenty of photo opportunities!
- Experience the local cuisine, such as kushikatsu
9. Backstreets of Osaka Food Tour at Night
Osaka at night is nothing short of amazing – the frisson in the air as you explore this crazy beautiful city cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world, and Dotonbori is located right in the center of all the excitement.
If you think you know Dotonburi, think again.
This food tour that will take you through the backstreets of the vibrant Dotonburi entertainment area will expose you to a side that you’ve never been to before.
You’ll still get to experience the frenzy of the street, but instead of fighting your way through the crowds, you’ll explore the windy little alleyways, which will eventually bring you to the other side of Osaka.
Sample local dishes such as kushikatsu, cram yourself into a tiny izakaya, clink beers with the locals, and finish up with some delicious local dessert.
- 4 different food stops with street food and local restaurant experiences (including kushikatsu, takoyaki, and seasonal dishes)
- Explore the smaller alleyways of Dotonburi
- Discover Osaka’s retro drinking alleys
Endeavoring to sample all that Osaka, Japan’s Kitchen, has to offer is a big feat. We know because we’ve tried.
It’s an impossible task because there is just so much on offer in this eclectic, vibrant, food-fueled city!
However, these top 10 best food tours in Osaka will not only expose you to the best side of Osaka’s food scene but will take you deeper than the surface level and allow you to learn how it all came to fruition.
We hope you enjoyed reading about these food tours in Osaka, and if you’ve decided to explore the city through any of them, let us know how your experience goes!
If you want to know how to make some of Osaka’s specialities, make sure you also join one of the 5 best cooking classes in Osaka!